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Canon G1 X vs G1X Mark II

The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2012 and February 2014. Both the G1X and the G1X Mark II are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an 1.5-inch sensor. The G1X has a resolution of 14.2 megapixels, whereas the G1X Mark II provides 13 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon G1 X versus Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G1 X Canon G1 X Mark II
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 24-120mm f/2.0-3.9
14.2 MP, 1.5" Sensor 13 MP, 1.5" Sensor
1080/24p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-12,800 ISO 100-12,800
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
no rear screen Tilting touchscreen
1.9 shutter flaps per second 5.2 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge240 shots per battery charge
117 x 81 x 65 mm, 534 g 116 x 74 x 66 mm, 553 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X and the Canon G1 X Mark II are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon G1 X vs Canon G1 X Mark II
Compare G1X versus G1X Mark II top
Comparison G1X or G1X Mark II rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G1 X Mark II is notably smaller (9 percent) than the Canon G1 X. However, the G1X Mark II is slightly heavier (4 percent) than the G1X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X nor the G1X Mark II are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the G1X gets 250 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the G1X Mark II can take 240 images on a single charge of its NB-12L power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon G1 X 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon T6s 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon G16 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon S120 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.1 in 7.7 oz 230 n Aug 2013 449i
 
Canon SX50 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon T4i 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon T3 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon T1i 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon XSi 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799i
 
Leica V-LUX 4 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Sep 2012 949i
 
Leica V-LUX 3 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.7 in 19.0 oz 410 n Dec 2011 949i
 
Panasonic LX100 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 n Sep 2014 899 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an 1.5-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.85. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Technology-wise, the G1X Mark II uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6) than the G1X (DIGIC 5), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon G1 X and Canon G1 X Mark II sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the G1X offers a slightly higher resolution of 14.2 megapixels, compared with 13 MP of the G1X Mark II. This megapixels advantage translates into a 5 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the G1X has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.30μm versus 4.49μm for the G1X Mark II). Moreover, it should be noted that the G1X Mark II is much more recent (by 2 years and 1 month) than the G1X, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Canon G1 X implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the G1X for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.8 x 16.3 inches or 55.3 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.4 x 13.1 inches or 44.2 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.5 x 10.9 inches or 36.8 x 27.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon G1 X Mark II are 20.8 x 15.6 inches or 52.8 x 39.6 cm for good quality, 16.6 x 12.5 inches or 42.3 x 31.7 cm for very good quality, and 13.9 x 10.4 inches or 35.2 x 26.4 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot G1 X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II offers exactly the same ISO settings.

G1X versus G1X Mark II MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
 
Leica V-LUX 4 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
 
Panasonic LX100 Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the G1X Mark II provides a faster frame rate than the G1X. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the G1X is limited to 1080/24p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the G1X has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the G1X Mark II relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the G1X Mark II can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC1. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G1 X and Canon G1 X Mark II in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon S120none n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic LX1002764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 n Y

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G1X Mark II has a touchscreen, while the G1X has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.

The Canon G1 X Mark II has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Both the G1X and the G1X Mark II have zoom lenses built in. The G1X has a 28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 optic and the G1X Mark II offers a 24-120mm f/2.0-3.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the G1X Mark II provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the G1X. The G1X Mark II offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G1X and the G1X Mark II write their files to SDXC cards. The G1X Mark II supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the G1X cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon PowerShot G1 X and Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon S120-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 4YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Panasonic LX100Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the G1X Mark II offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the G1X does not provide wifi capability.

Both the G1X and the G1X Mark II have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G1X was replaced by the Canon G1X Mark II, while the G1X Mark II was followed by the Canon G1 X Mark III. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon G1 X better than the Canon G1 X Mark II or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G1 X:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (14.2 vs 13MP) with a 5% higher linear resolution.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2012).


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II:

  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 6 vs DIGIC 5).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p versus 1080/24p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.2 vs 1.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/2.8).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 1 month of technical progress since the G1X launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G1X Mark II is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 3 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

G1X 03:13 G1X Mark II

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G1 X and the Canon G1 X Mark II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G1X and the G1X Mark II in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon G1 X+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon T6s+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon G16+..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon S120+ +..4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2013 449i
 
Canon SX50+ +72/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon T4i+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon T380/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon T1i+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon XSi+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
 
Leica V-LUX 4.......... Sep 2012 949i
 
Leica V-LUX 3.......... Dec 2011 949i
 
Panasonic LX100+ +85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon G1 X:
Check Ebay offers
Canon G1 X Mark II:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon G1 X vs Canon G1 X Mark II

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon G1 X Canon G1 X Mark II
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 24-120mm f/2.0-3.9
    Launch Date January 2012 February 2014
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Canon G1 X Canon G1 X Mark II
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1.5" Sensor 1.5" Sensor
    Sensor Size 18.7 x 14.0 mm 18.7 x 14.0 mm
    Sensor Area 261.8 mm2 261.8 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 23.4 mm 23.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.85x 1.85x
    Sensor Resolution 14.2 Megapixels 13 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4352 x 3264 pixels 4160 x 3120 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.30 μm 4.49 μm
    Pixel Density 5.43 MP/cm2 4.96 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5 DIGIC 6
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 60 58
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.7 21.5
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 644 581
    Screen Specs Canon G1 X Canon G1 X Mark II
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 74%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon G1 X Canon G1 X Mark II
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 1.9 shutter flaps/s 5.2 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon G1 X Canon G1 X Mark II
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon G1 X Canon G1 X Mark II
    Battery Type NB-10L NB-12L
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge240 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 117 x 81 x 65 mm
    (4.6 x 3.2 x 2.6 in)
    116 x 74 x 66 mm
    (4.6 x 2.9 x 2.6 in)
    Camera Weight 534 g (18.8 oz) 553 g (19.5 oz)

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